Nintendo has the longest history of creating quality games out of all the three current console makers. Some of the most memorable characters and franchises have been built and evolved over the last twenty years across multiple consoles, culminating in hundreds of amazing games. Though millions and millions have enjoyed popular titles such as Super Mario 64, Mario Kart and Zelda, there are some games that didn’t get the recognition they deserved and sold poorly in comparison.
Here I dig out ten of these titles. While they were a critical success, they failed to get in many gamers hands deserved for one reason or another. Most of you would have played some of, if not all of these games, but there are also many people that missed out on these gems.
The ten games after the jump all deserve your time to track down to see what you’re missing. Luckily eBay makes this an easy task.
1. Chibi-Robo! (Gamecube/Wii)
Chibi-Robo! can easily be classed as the Gamecube’s last classic, released late into the consoles life. Though it was an odd concept where you controlled a robot cleaning different rooms in a house in order to earn ‘Happy Points’, the game was a joy to control and offered a charming experience. Luckily those that missed it first time round on Gamecube will be able to give Chibi a second chance later this year when Nintendo re-release it on Wii with updated controls. Don’t let the idea of the game put you off. Chibi-Robo! is a little gem.
2. Okami (Wii/PS2)
Perhaps the biggest injustice in the history of videogames is Okami. Originally released on PS2 where sales were hugely underwhelming, Capcom gave Okami a second chance on Wii due to fans outcries that the games paintbrush mechanics would ideally be suited to the wiimote’s capabilities. They were right. The game is even better on Wii and quite frankly one of the most stylized and freshest games of the decade. The moment when you revive a blossom tree and se the landscape come to life is one of my favourite moments in gaming.
Though it is a very high accolade to compare Okami to Zelda, this should be the case as Okami holds its own next to Nintendo’s masterpiece. In my opinion, this deserved to sell millions but gamers largely ignored it. If you have not played this then I urge you to try it, you will not be disappointed.
3. Sin & Punishment (N64/Wii)
This is really in this list for Europeans. The game never saw release in Europe during the N64 days and has only recently become available on the Wii Shop. No matter where you are from, this Treasure developed game is well worth hunting down if you have never played it.
There are fewer more intense and exciting games than this on N64 and on any Nintendo console for that matter! Though it hasn’t aged particularly well in the looks department it is still a joy to play and one hell of a hectic shooter.
It is what Treasure do best and why I cannot wait for the Wii sequel to arrive some time this year.
4. Chrono Trigger (SNES/DS)
Many gamers reading this may be too young to remember Square’s Chrono Trigger the first time round on the SNES, which is why it is in this list (also another game that never made European shores until this years DS version).
Classed by many as the best 2D RPG, Chrono Trigger is an absolute must play game if you are a fan of the genre. Even 14 years after its release the game shines with a fantastic storyline, a brilliant battle system and a beautiful soundtrack. Well worth hunting down on your DS or SNES.
5. Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem (Gamecube)
Gamecube exclusive – Eternal Darkness was a gripping psychological horror game from Ubisoft. Though there have been many scarier and better looking horror games before and after this, no game has managed to quite mess with your head so much as Eternal Darkness.
The whole game from beginning to end was a hugely enjoyable experience. Few people witnessed the sanity meter in this game playing with your mind such as reversing controls, the hallucinogenic graphical effects or the game controller pretending to have been disconnected.
Seeing as the Wii plays Gamecube games, there is little excuse not play this if you haven’t already. Also Ubisoft if you are reading this – can we have a sequel, please?!
6. Blast Corps (N64)
While most people were playing Goldeneye and Banjo Kazooie during Rare’s N64 days, many gamers seemed to miss another of the developers treasures – Blast Corps.
Blast Corps was a clever puzzle/action hybrid game where you controlled a bulldozer. It was a far cry from Goldeneye, Jet Force Gemini, Banjo and all other Rare games but the quality and great gameplay remained. It seems quite boring on paper but clearing a path for your truck to drive through was great fun!
7. Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros Treasure (Wii)
Highly rated Zack & Wiki failed to attract consumers attention and sold very poorly for such a high quality title. It is full of original uses for the Wiimote’s controls and though it was released early in the consoles life-span, few games since have put the wiimote to such original use. The game itself looks good, is fun to play and is full of excellent puzzles.
Personally I think the name change to ‘Zack & Wiki’ put some people off but no-one should be put of trying this Capcom developed game, especially as it can be found so cheaply in bargain bins!
8. Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat (Gamecube)
This is 2D platforming at its best. Nintendo opted for the use of the bongo peripheral on the Gamecube for the controls of this game. Players needed to bang the bongos and clap to make the Donkey Kong run and jump. To anybody that has never played this, that may sound very weird and not particularly appealing but in true Nintendo style, they pulled it off in style.
Donkey Kong: Jungle beat was a joy to play, even if it did make your arms hurt1 The graphics were vibrant and gorgeous to look at and it is still one of my favourite platformers to date. For some reason the masses largely ignored the title which is a huge shame Like Chibi-Robo! Nintendo are re-releasing the title on Wii with motion controls, but how this will fair up to the original remains to be seen. If you still have your Gamecube hunt this down with the bongos as it is a classic that screams to be played. It’s not the longest game in the world but the replay value of trying to beat your ‘banana count’ score will keep you coming back for more.
9. Beyond Good & Evil (Gamecube)
Another Ubisoft entry that was criminaly ignored by the masses and another Gamecube exclusive. Beyond Good & Evil was a good all round action adventure set in a strange world of humans, animals, robots and aliens.
The game creators invented a lovable cast and tasty looking world to explore, sewn together with a good storyline. The game also had novel features such as the lead characters ability to take photo’s during her adventure. It may not sound like much but this game’s total was more than the sum of its parts.
Hunt it down, it deserves your attention.
10. GTA: Chinatown Wars (DS)
This is a little borderline putting GTA: CW in this list. By any means the game has not ‘flopped’ and lots of handheld gamers have picked it up. However, many of the Playstation and Xbox GTA gamers seem to have shown little interest in the DS rendition as recent sales figures have shown.
GTA: CW holds its own very well with its fully-fledged 3D cousins on Xbox and Playstation. The sheer volume of content Rockstar have crammed in to the limited DS hardware is phenomenal. Nothing has been left out of Chinatown Wars. There is a full, vibrant, living city with so much to do it’s mind boggling. Everything you have come to expect from the series (and more) is here in the DS version. It looks great, plays great and is currently the highest rated DS game on metacritic.
Personally I found GTA: CW much more fun than GTA IV and every bit as good as any GTA game before it. It seems many people are missing out on this gem. If you own a DS, you should own this game, simple.
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